The Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights were beaten 30-28 by the Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Knights went for a short kick off at the beginning of the match, and it quickly backfired as the Tigers won possession and score four plays later via centre Chance Peni.
Eight minutes later the Knights scored their first points, winger Liam Faughlin just managing to ground the ball before he was bundled out of play. Bryce Donovan’s attempted conversion ricocheted out off the post to leave the Knights two points behind, and then several sets later the Tigers were over again via back rower Tyler Cassel.
15 minutes from half time the Knights hit back via Pauli Pauli, the massive back rower wrestling his way through several bodies to get over the line. Donovan converted to make the score 12-10, and then eight minutes later he busted out of a tackle to run 20 metres and score himself beneath the posts.
Ten minutes into the second half the Knights were over again following a strong period of possession, bench forward Ben Stone bulldozing his way over beneath the posts. Donovan converted to give the Novocastrians a ten point buffer, but with 20 minutes left on the clock Tigers halfback Justin Hunt returned serve with a try of his own beneath the posts.
It all started going downhill for the Knights from here, as Jaelen Feeney was sinbinned soon after for halting the Tigers’ attacking advantage on a break. In the very next play the away side scored via winger Jayden Wheelhouse in the corner, and then ten minutes from time fullback Luke Sharpe ran 40 metres to dive over the line and give the Tigers a six point advantage.
Three minutes from time the Tigers made it eight points, but from the following kick off the Knights struck back via a returned Feeney. Donovan converted to make the final score 30-28.
Newcastle Knights 28 (T: Faughlin, Pauli, Donovan, Stone, Feeney; G: Donovan 4/5)
Wests Tigers 30 (T: Peni, Cassel, Hunt, Wheelhouse, Sharpe; G: Hunt 4/5, P: 1)